For a class project classmate Chris Breitenbach and I decided to create a short video documentary exploring the ups and downs of the space at The Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago. This video is the outcome of our work.
Looking at the space through Library 2.0 goggles we found several issues with signage and physical barriers from the moment we walked in the several different doors.
In short, it’s a sprawling library, almost overwhelming, and it’s very hard to find what you need unless you’ve been there a few times with the patience to explore. The signs are confusing, the many entrances make it seem maze-like, and the popular library is hidden away near one of the entrances.
One thing I noticed was the plethora of guards roving the stacks instead of librarians who could be found behind desks. However, when we asked a librarian for help, she was very nice and helpful, and she gave us maps! If only, I’d had one of those ages ago.
I find the library in general difficult to navigate – and I’ve had an official tour…
It is a beautiful library, especially the Winter Garden, and I know a major redesign is out of the question, but maybe some new signage and a deep review of library policies are in order.